WASHINGTON -- An environmental bill important to banks and other lenders sprang back to life Wednesday when a House subcommittee approved the measure on a 21-0 vote.

The House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on transportation and hazardous materials sent legislation overhauling the Superfund law on to the full committee, which is also expected to give its blessing.

Would Shield Lenders

Banks are involved because the bill would revive regulations struck down by the courts that shielded lenders from environmental liability arising from loans secured by properties that turn out to have been contaminated by hazardous chemicals.

"If today's vote is any indication, this bill now has real momentum," said Donald G. Ogilvie, executive vice president of the American Bankers Association.

The bill had stalled over issues unrelated to lender liability, but was revived after the Clinton administration made a major push.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.